AARP AARP States Virginia Press


Ed Gillespie, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

RICHMOND _ AARP Virginia and the League of Women Voters of Virginia are pleased to announce that U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie has agreed to participate in the People’s Debate on October 13.

“We are hopeful that Senator Mark Warner will agree to take part in the People’s Debate,” said AARP Virginia State Director Bill Kallio, who received Gillespie’s signed acceptance today. The deadline to accept the debate invitation is Monday, August 4.

The two non-partisan groups traditionally sponsor the Columbus Day faceoff for gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. It is the only debate representing the issues of concern to average citizens that is broadcast free and statewide.

“The People’s Debate should be a must-do campaign event for statewide candidates, and we are pleased that Mr. Gillespie has agreed to participate,” said Anne Sterling, President of the League of Women Voters of Virginia.

Scheduled for October 13 at the studio of WCVE-TV in Richmond, the People’s Debate is a one-hour statewide television broadcast offered free to Virginia news organizations to carry live or re-broadcast. Media partners for the People’s Debate are WTVR-TV (CBS) and WCVE-TV (Virginia Public Television). The media partners distribute the debate to broadcasters statewide in order to make the forum available to voters across Virginia.

“Statewide TV gives all Virginians the opportunity to discover where their candidates stand on issues that matter to them and their families," Sterling said.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine debated former Senator George Allen in 2012 in front of more than 200,000 voters across the Commonwealth. It was carried live in every television market in Virginia as well as C-SPAN. It also was streamed live on the CNN and Washington Post websites and the websites of numerous Virginia-based news organizations.

“The candidates have an opportunity to share their views with a statewide audience and in a forum focused on the issues important to Virginia voters and their families,” Kallio said.

Both organizations have a long history of providing non-partisan voter education. Neither group endorses candidates, makes campaign contributions nor operates a political action committee.

AARP has nearly 1.1 million members age 50 + in Virginia and the League of Women Votershas local Leagues across the Commonwealth. According to the Virginia Board of Elections, more than half of Virginia’s more than 5.2 million registered voters are female. More than 45 percent of Virginia voters are age 50 or older.

Both the League of Women Voters of Virginia and AARP Virginia are on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @aarpva and @LWVVA. Find posts about the debate using hashtag #PeoplesDebate.

About LWV

The League of Women Voters of Virginia, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Formed 93 years ago from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, LWV has continued working to maintain this right. Today we concentrate on voters rights, making sure every vote is counted and registering voters, high school and college students. The centerpiece of the League’s efforts remains to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans. . . We do these at all three levels of government, engaging in both broad educational efforts as well as advocacy. Our issues are grounded in our respected history of making democracy work for all citizens. LWV operates at national, state and local levels through more than 800 state and local Leagues, in all 50 states as well in DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. LWV does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.

  About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

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